samsungSamsung, the largest South Korean conglomerate, is not scared off by a consolidating Bitcoin price. Instead, the company, which is headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, is forging ahead with research and development in the Bitcoin space, with particular focus on the block chain technology.

In conjunction with International Business Machines Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. is developing plans to use bitcoin technology for new applications.

As Bloomberg writes:

While bitcoin’s price has almost halved in the past year and the prospects for the digital currency are uncertain, its underlying software is attracting companies like phone makers, carriers and banks. That’s because the technology can be tweaked to record changes in ownership of any asset in a public ledger using a distributed network of computers or mobile phones. It could help facilitate all types of online transactions.

Researchers at Samsung Research America, based in Silicon Valley, has researchers looking at using the Bitcoin block chain to verify “that what you say is authentic is authentic,” said Steven Rahman, director of strategy at the research division.

Samsung is known for electronics like Galaxy smartphones, home appliances and televisions, as well as music radio and video services and many apps.

“The block chain technology is very interesting in general, and it can be applied in a lot of areas,” Rahman said.

“Currency, it’s just the first use case. You could imagine that anything, like prescriptions, could be managed with the block chain technology.”

Although usually tasked with developing technologies for commercial products in two to five years,  it is unclear exactly what sort of research into Bitcoin the company has embarked upon.

The Bitcoin block chain has already proven to be an inexpensive way of transferring money, but the technology could be used for cheaper storage of files like songs and videos.

Some Bitcoiners think Samsung could stand to be the biggest beneficiary of Bitcoin.

At a press conference in Daejeon, South Korea, then Bitcoin Foundation chairman Peter Vessenes speculated:

“At least half a billion U.S. dollars, up from $10 million two years ago, will be spent on purchasing Bitcoin mining systems worldwide next year or in 18 months.”

Samsung could innovate and create even more powerful chips for Bitcoin mining, he said.

“Much of the money will go directly to foundries with the highest technology in the world, including Samsung, Intel and TSMC.”

With powerful influence on South Korea’s economic development, politics, media and culture, Samsung could be a driving force behind Bitcoin adoption in South Korea, and development on the global level.  Samsung and its subsidiaries produce around a fifth of South Korea’s total exports, with revenue equal to approximately 17% of South Korea’s $1,0982 billion GDP.